Fiji and Tahiti played out a 0-0 draw in their group C match of the Sol2023 Pacific Games at SIFF Academy on Tuesday.
It was an entertaining and equally contested match with a shared amount of chances, but both teams lacked the finishing touches throughout.
Fiji head coach Rob Sherman was happy about his team’s performance but noted that most of the referee’s decisions were not in his side’s favour.
With Fiji now awaiting the result of Tahiti’s next match with Northern Mariana Islands, Sherman added: “The scenario now is that I believe Tahiti will need to score more than 10 goals if they are to progress and now Fiji have to wait for that outcome of the game”.
Fiji were down to 10 men in the second half after Tevita Waranaivalu received his second yellow card with four minutes remaining on the clock.
Tahiti however couldn’t capitalise on the extra man advantage and will be hoping to score at least 11 goals in their next match for a chance of reaching the semi-finals.
Speaking after the match, Tahiti coach Samuel Garcia said: “We looked at the previous game between Fiji and Northern Mariana Islands, and now the fate for a place in the semis rests in our hands and we need to have a good recovery tomorrow and prepare well for the next game.”
“Today’s result is positive for us because we didn’t lose, and I am so happy for my players and we’ll be concentrating on the next game,” he added.
In the day’s earlier match, Cook Islands secured a hard-fought 3-2 victory against Tonga to claim their first win in Pool A.
Wednesday is a rest day for football, but the men’s action will continue on Thursday at Lawson Tama, with PNG facing Vanuatu at 12pm followed by American Samoa v Solomon Islands at 3pm.
By Timothy Inifiri Jnr, Jeffson Aghi and Amanda Su’ainiu, Pacific Games News Service